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WHAT ON DECK FOR NAFTA The Development Group for

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WHAT ON DECK FOR NAFTA The Development Group for Powered By Docstoc
					 Vol. 2, No.3                                                                                          July 1992



   MAJORITY OF CONGRESS                                   WHAT'S ON DECK FOR NAFTA
SPONSORS WAXMAN-GEPHARDT                                           Trade Talks in Extra Innings
        RESOLUTION
                                                             There are conflicting rumors about exactly when
   The number of Members of Congress co-                  we should expect the completion of the NAFfA
sponsoring a resolution calling for the safeguarding of   negotiations and when congressional deliberations on
environmental, labor, public-health and consumer-         the issue would begin. Many observers had expected
safety standards in trade agreements has continued to     the agreement to be completed by 15 July, but that
mount.                                                    date has come and gone and the negotiations
                                                          continue.
   Currently, 218 Members, a majority of the House
of Representatives, are co-sponsors of House                 According to a 14 July article in the New York
Concurrent Resolution 246; introduced by Rep. Henry       Times, 12 of 22 negotiating groups have still not
Waxman (D-CA) and House Majority Leader Richard           produced final legal texts on their respective issues.
Gephardt (D-MO). The resolution is intended to            At a meeting before the All Star baseball game in San
make clear to the Bush Administration and U.S.            Diego later that day, Presidents Bush and Salinas
trading partners that Congress will not approve any       announced that the trade ministers from the three
trade agreement, including the GATT and the               countries would meet again on 25 July. Some Bush
NAFT A, that jeopardizes U.S. standards. The House        Administration officials reportedly want to see an
is slated to vote on the resolution by August.            agreement before the Republican National Convention
                                                          in mid-August; others hope to have it finished by the
    "Trade agreements such as GATT and NAFTA              end of August.               (Continuedon nextpage)
must not degrade or deter our environmental, worker
and consumer laws," said consumer advocate Ralph
Nader. "It should be the role of the world's largest
economy to lift the standards of other nations around
the world instead of having our standards pulled
down to lower common denominators of other
countries. The fact that a majority of the House has
co-sponsored the Waxman-Gephardt resolution sends
a clear signal to President Bush that Americans won't
fall for back-door treaty preemption of our domestic
health, safety and economic rights through a beguiling
disguise called 'free trade'."

    Meanwhile, 24 House Members led by Rep. Jim
Jontz (D-IN) wrote Rep. Gephardt, citing major
commitments to the Congress on which the President
has failed to make good since winning fast-track
authority. They have asked the Majority Leader "...to
challenge the Administration to live up to its
commitments or help us take NAFT A off of the fast
track." .
                                                          IUE printed 40,000 of these baseball cards. which were
                                                          distributedby Fair Trade Campaignat the All Star Gall!£.
    WHAT'S ON DECK FOR NAFTA (frompage1)                             this point, it seems impossible that an agreement
                                                                     could be passed by Congress before the November
     In the meantime, many questions have arisen about               election: Congress is supposed to adjourn in early
    exactly how "fast track" works and what the likely               October, which means that, even if Bush were to
.                          v
    timingof a congressional ote on a NAFTAwould be.                 initial the agreement now, Congress would not be in
    Fast-track legislation is somewhat ambiguous, which              session when the 90-day notification period ends.
    has caused some confusion regarding the timing of                There is a slim possibility that the lame-duck
    steps in the congressional review process.                       Congress would choose to vote on NAFTA, but it
                                                                     seems much more likely that a debate and vote
       Fast-track authority requires that the President, after       would take place in early 1993.
    the U.S. Trade Representative has initialed a
    substantially completed trade agreement, notify                     What is the latest date that a NAFTA could be
    Congress of his intention to enter into an agreement 90          completed and signed without Congress having to
    days before signing it. Within two weeks of the                  vote again to extend fast-track authority? There is
    initialing, the seven private-sector advisory committees         some disagreement on this issue, but the consensus
    (the Services,Investment, Intergovernmental, Industrial,         seems to be that the 90-calendar-day notification
    Agricultural and Defense Policy Advisory Committees              period would .have to terminate before 1 June 1993;
    and the Labor Advisory Committee for Trade                       i.e., the President would need to notify Congress by
    Negotiations and Trade Policy) established to review             1 March 1993 that an agreement is ready. But the
    the impact of a NAFTA on various sectors must                    congressional vote could take place, according to the
    complete their critiques of the agreement. USTR has              consensus, after the 31 May expiration date for the
    asked these groups to begin their reviews before the             current fast-track authority. Most observers believe,
    negotiations are actually completed. According to
    several reports, however, many of the advisors are
    unwilling to begin their analyses based on verbal
                                                                                                                   .
                                                                     however, that notification will occur not much later
                                                                     than this summer.
                                                                     Sources: Information compiled by Thea Lee, Economic Policy
    reports on the agreement; they are insisting on seeing
                                                                     Institute; "In Trade Plan, Mexico Agrees To Open Up
    a completed text.                                                Financial Services," by Keith Bradsher, New York Times,   14
                                                                     July 1992, p. AI; Public Law 100-418, Sec. 1103,
       The House Ways and Means Committee and the                    Implementation                  of Trade Agreements.
    Senate Finance Committee can hold hearings during the
    90-day period, and Congress can comment on and vote
    to recommend changes in the agreement during this
    time, essentially informing Bush that it will not sign it
    as is. Like a vote withdrawing fast-track authority, this
    would require a majority vote from either house.

       If, after 90 days, the President were to join the
    leaders of the other two countries in signing the
    agreement, the Administration could submit the
    implementing legislation to Congress. Congress would
    then have a maximum of 90 legislative days to debate
    and vote on the agreement and the legislation or 60
    legislative days if the agreement does not contain any
    revenue provisions. Congress can choose to vote more
    quickly than that, as it did in the case of the D.S.-
    Canada FTA, when the Senate approved the measure                           ...                    .~.......
                                                                                                          ......
    within a calendar month and the House followed suit                  :~dit¥ial()fficiM(.. .. ... ....
    soon afterwards.
                                                                         :.:         iI£o~~f~~~~~t~..~~i......
                                                                           ::.:.WlISbingt()~1).Q~O<>05.USA <            ...
       When President Bush says he wants to have an                          ..Ph~he: (202)S!fSf1566 FaX: (202)898~ 1612..
                                                                                                                       .




    agreement wrapped up by November, he is referring to             I     .. P~aceDet: dglip .             ...
    its trinational signing, not congressional approval. At

                                                                 7
            NEW BOOK ON LABOR                                                  PRl CLAIMS WIN IN MICHOACAN,
           SUPPRESSION IN MEXICO                                                  CONCEDES IN CHIHUAHUA
                 by Rebekah Greenwald, ILRERF
                                                                                   In gubernatorial elections held 12 July, Mexico's
         Exploring the unique history of the Mexican labor                     ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) declared
     movement and the legal system that liberates it with                      itself victorious in Michoacan, while conceding that
     one hand and squelches it with the other, Dan La                          the opposition National Action Party (PAN) had won
     Botz's Mask of Democracy: Labor Suppression in                            in the northern state of Chihuahua. The fact that
     Mexico Today focuses on the tragedy behind Mexico's                       President Salinas called Eduardo Villasenor, the PRI
     pro-worker facade. This recently released book looks                      candidate in Michoacan, to congratulate him on his
     at every aspect of workers' lives, from the commun-                       victory when just 20 percent of the vote had been
     ities they live in to the air that they breathe, and                      counted has been cited by observers as additional
     answers the question that banks and corporations dare                     evidence that, despite the government's claims of
     not ask: what is the cost in human terms of export-led                    reform, Mexican elections remain tightly controlled by
     development and unregulated free trade?                                   the government and the PRI.

        Beginning with the revolution of 1910, workers                             According to Mexican political analysts such as
    have played an integral role in legitimizing the one-                      Jose Agustin Ortiz Pinchetti and Miguel Angel
    party-dominated Mexican state. In the name of the                          Granados Chapas, these results followed from a plan
    workers, battles have been waged and power wars                            by Salinas and his advisors to split the conservative
    have been lost and won. But Mexican workers have                           PAN from the progressive Party of Democratic
    never received their due. Barred from joining unions                       Revolution (PRD). The PRI also hoped to weaken the
    independent from the state, workers have consistently                      PRD by engineering a decisive defeat for PRD leader
    struggJed to achieve even minimal recognition of their                     Cuahtemoc Cardenas in his home state of Michoacan.
    cons~utionally mandated rights. State suppression has                      Many observers believe that Cardenas actually won
    cost the workers their freedom and much more.                              the highly contested 1988 presidential elections. He
                                                                               is expected to be a candidate in the 1994 race, as well.
       Even as the terms of North American free trade are
    being negotiated and locked into place, the assault on                         In contrast to the 1988 elections, however, these
    Mexican labor continues. Findings from Mask of                             races were monitored by a coalition of seven
    Democracy       show that Mexican            workers      --   men,        independent       Mexican     electoral   observation
    women and approximately 10,000,000 children -- are                         organizations coordinated by the Citizens Movement
    subject to long hours in hazardous, unhealthy                              for Democracy (MCD). The coalitions deployed 450
,   workplaces for miserably meager wages. Unemploy-                           poll-watchers around Michoacan and an equal number
    ment is estimated at 30 percent of the economically                        in Chihuahua. The groups presented preliminary
    active population and consideration of underemploy-                        conclusions at a press conference following the
    ment drives this figure even higher. As La Botz                            elections at which they listed nearly 50 kinds of
    points out, to prepare for free trade the Mexican                          irregularities ranging from improper installation and
    government has transformed development policies                            opening (and abrupt closing) of voting booths to the
    based on high-wage industrial jobs into export-led                         lack of secrecy in voting and improper inspection of
    policies relying on maquiladoras and low-wage                              voter identification. According to an article in the 14
    assembly-line labor that has helped induce a ten-year                      July New York Times, observers reported that, in at
    decline in wages. .                                                        least three cases, voters were moved from one polling
                                                                               station to another, presumaply to vote twice.
    Mask of Denwcracv (227 pages, with an introduction on trade-
    linked labor standards by former US. Secretary of Labor Ray                   As Mexican political observers have often pointed
    Marshall) is availablefor $14.00 plus $2.00 shipping from South
                                                                               out, the lack of democracy is manifest in Mexico well
    End Press (ILBN-O-89608-437   -x) or from the International    Labor
    Rights Research and Education Fund, Box 74, 100 Maryland                   before voting day. In an article in the 15 July
    Avenue, NE, Washington, DC 20002, (202)544-7767.                           Financial Times, the PRD claims that the PRI outspent
                                                                                                                (Continued   011page 9)

                                                                           3
 MODTLE FORUM: "IS SOCIALLY RESPONSIBLE TRADE POSSIBLE?"
   On 16 June MODTLE held a forum entitled "Is                  citing the transfer of General Motors Company jobs to
Socially Responsible Trade Possible?: EC Experiences            Mexico and the northward migration in Mexico of a
and Prospects for NAFfA and GATT". About 70                     half million people to the maquiladoras, where wages
people attended the forum, which was divided into two           are low, health standards obsolete and working
panels.                                                         conditions intolerable.

    Ray Marshall, U.S. Secretary of Labor under                     U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur began the second panel
President Carter, began the discussion by relating              presentations by noting the contradictions in the free-
"socially responsible trade" to the concept and practice        trade approach. Many U.S. workers who have lost
of "sustainability", Le., the covering by companies of          their jobs as factories relocate to Mexico are using
all the costs of their production induding those related        their unemployment checks tQbuy goods produced by
to labor and the environment, as well as social costs.          Mexican workers who receive wages too low for them
In this context, he critiqued the competitive strategy of       to buy the products themselves. Alison Pascale, of
wage-cutting and promoted that of improving                     Rep. Kapoor's staff, reported on briefings held by
productivity through the upgrading of people's                  USTR for congressional staff. She related that the
educational and skills levels.                                  Bush Administration appears to have taken virtually
                                                                no action to incorporate labor concerns, or to make a
    Arturo Alcalde, a prominent Mexican labor and               direct link between trade and the environment, in the
human-rights lawyer, presented the concerns expressed           NAFfA.
by Mexican citizens' organizations. They worry that
a free-trade agreement would further institutionalize              Rep. George Brown spoke next on the importance
Mexico's subordination to its neighbors to the North,           of a free-trade agreement that will benefit all three
as well as the subordination of unions, environmental           countries. The central challenge, he stated, is to set a
groups and other social organizations to the Mexican            process in motion that ensures the upward
government.       He stressed the importance of                 harmonization of standards. A social charter that
recognizing that, despite many good laws in Mexico              would ensure that the benefits of trade are widely
in the areas of labor, human rights and the                     shared and lead to a high-productivity model of
environment, these laws are often not enforced.                 development should be an integral part of the
Globalization of economies, he concluded, has upset             negotiation process. Such a charter, he co~tended,
traditional concepts of sovereignty. Now, more than             should include minimum continental labor and
ever, he said, it is crucial to establish international         environmental standards, as well as mechanisms to
mechanisms to ensure the application of legal                   enforce those standards, as delineated in the North
standards.                                                      American Environmental, Labor, and Agricultural
                                                                Standards Act of 1992, introduced by Rep. Brown in
    Dave Barrett, a Member of the Canadian                      April.
Parliament representing the New Democratic Party,
reflected on the Canadian experience with its free-                Jerome Levinson of Arnold and Porter, a
trade agreement with the United States. He contended            Washington-based consulting firm, commented that,
that freer trade and competition are not the true               while the European Community model is based on the
objectives of the NAFf A, but rather that this                  repudiation of social dumping (Le., holding wages
agreement is driven by a corporate agenda geared to             down in order to attract investments), the Mexican
maximizing returns to the investments of corporations           development model and the NAFfA are premised on
without their assuming any social or environmental              such dumping and on sacrificing worker rights. He
responsibility. He pointed out that, since the signing          agreed with Arturo Alcalde that the Mexican
of the agreement in 1988, Canada has experienced its            constitution is very progressive on labor issues. He
greatest economic crisis since the Great Depression,            predicted that Mexican authorities would have no
with chronic unemployment of over 12 percent and the            problem with Rep. Brown's proposal. The real issue,
loss of over 500,000 jobs. Similar processes are                he stated, is enforcement of those standards.
occurring in the United States and Mexico, he added,                                           (Continued on next page)
                                                            4
MODTLE FORUM (frompage4)
                                                                                 CANADIANS STRESS
    Stephen Silva of the American Institute for                                  RlGHTS-NAFTA LINK
Contemporary German Studies closed the panel                                 by Hugo Llamas, The Development GAP
presentations with an explication of the European
Community's experience with social charters. As the                       In a brief submitted to Canadian Trade Minister
trade among the members expanded and the social and                   Michael Wilson, former Member of Parliament Edward
economic problems that it created became increasingly                 Broadbent explores the linkage between human rights
apparent, social sectors gained sufficient leverage to                and trade. "The Proposed NAFTA and Human Rights"
initiate a discussion of social policy and trade. The                 calls on trading countries to recognize the connection
social charter that emerged from that process consists                between economic and political change and to adhere
of 47 social instruments, but just 21 are binding, and                to a common framework of ideals that gives priority to
most of those reflect the priorities of corporations.                 the human rights of its citizenry.
    The EC went beyond the NAFTA, however, in                             Broadbent cites the European Community (EC) as
establishing an intergovernmental structure that has the              a leader in recognizing the linkage between trade and
power to develop and implement social policy.                         human rights. Eleven of the 12 EC member countries
According to Silva, we should avoid the approach                      adopted a Community Charter of the Fundamental
taken under the U.S.-Canada FTA, in which a dispute-                  Social Rights of Workers, and Spain's and Portugal's
resolution panel made up of a panel of experts hand-                  entry into the EC was delayed until they met the
picked by the government has been established. Such                   member-states' human-rights standards. Likewise, the
a panel, he emphasized, should be open to                             Charter of the European Bank for Reconstruction and
representation from different social groups, particularly             Development links its lending policies to human rights,
                                                                      pluralism and democracy.
those in contact with and representing the grassroots,
rather than consist solely of free-trade economists.          .           Broadbent, president of the International Centre for
                                                                      Human Rights and Democratic Development, asserts
                                                                      that long-term political stability, which is jeopardized
                                                                      by political repression, is imperative for sustained
                                                                      economic growth. Addressing human rights within a
                                                                      NAFTA, he maintains, would represent an important
                                                                      opportunity to promote those rights in a positive way,
                                                                      rather than in a negative manner such as through the
                                                                      application of economic sanctions. Canada, he argues,
                                                                      should support groups and people in Mexico who
                                                                      advocate the integration of human rights into a
                                                                      NAFTA. "Canada claims to support human rights
                                                                      groups internationally," he writes. "Now is the time to
                                                                      show we mean business."
                                                                       He concludes with three policy options. The first
                                                                   is to include specific humans rights in the main body
                                                                   of a NAFTA or in a companion document linked to a
                                                                   NAFTA; this could be accomplished through a Social
                                                                   Charter. The second option would be the formation of
                                                                   an independent agency that would monitor the effects
                                                                   of free trade on human rights in the three countries.
                                                                   Including human rights in a-preamble to an agreement
                                                                   would be a third option. Broadbent and the Centre
                                                                   urge the Canadian negotiators to push for the
                                                                   integration of a Charter into a NAFf A, but
  available fQr'"$5from Ari(o@'TriXtcsliif6r/M1tfii;   io; -B.o~> recommend the second option should such a charter be
  1896, Bisbee. AZ 85603,(()()2)432-7340.:        .             ..
                                                                   unenforceable. .

                                                                  5
            ENVIRONMENTAL GROUPS COUNTER "GREENWASH"
   There have been persistent rumors that the most           citizens "concerning the failure of any Party to enforce
recent drafts of the NAFfA are replete with language         environmental laws or to abide by international
designed to appease U.S. Congressional concerns              environmental agreements." All Commission meetings
regarding the potential environmental impact of an           and reports would be accessible to the public, but not
agreement. News reports now indicate, in fact, that a        the identity of the complainants, which would be
"breakthough" has been made in the form of the               confidential at their request. The paper also
adoption of environmental language by the negotiators.       recommends that local citizen committees be
                                                             established in each country to report to the
   U.S. environmental and consumer organizations             Commission on local environmental issues.
such as the Natural Resources Defense Council and
Public Citizen have denounced this language, however,            The paper continues with recommendations geared
as "Greenwash." It is their understanding that this          to ensure that environmental standards are not
language is the same as that contained in the GAIT           compromised by the trade agreement. These include
Uruguay Round draft on the issue of food-safety              the broadening of exemptions to enable the adoption
standards, a proposal that they have already denounced       or enforcement of measures to protect natural
as unacceptable.                                             resources, as long as those measures do not "constitute
                                                             a means of arbitrary discrimination between like
    A group of thirteen U.S. environmental                   products or production practices." Similarly, the group
organizations have written a paper entitled                  suggests language that would safeguard existing and
"Environmental Safeguards for the North American             future sanitary and phytosanitary measures, as well as
Free Trade Agreement," which presents its priority           technical standards and regulations, so long as they do
recommendations on what would be adequate                    not arbitrarily discriminate against imports. It also
treatment of environmental issues within a NAFf A.
                                                             proposes wording to guarantee that nothing in a
They begin by noting that the Bush Administration's          NAFTA would prevent or undermine the implementa-
actions to date on the environment and NAFT A have
                                                             tion of international environmental agreements.
been limited to publishing two reports: the Integrated
Border Environment Plan (IBEP), written by the EPA              The authors also suggest language on the process
and its Mexican counterpart agency, SEDUE, and the           of dispute resolution that would place the burden of
Environmental Review of U.S.-Mexico Environmental            proof in disputes involving environmental and/or
Issues (ER), prepared by USTR. They assert that              public-health standards on the challenger, rather than
these reports "do not inspire confidence that NAFTA          on the challenged cOlmtry, as is now the practice.
implementation will proceed with adequate                    Citizens and NGGs would be permitted to participate
environmental safeguards," and that those safeguards         in these cases, and environmental experts would be
belong within the NAFTA itself, rather than in any           given a central role in resolving disputes.
parallel accord or plan.
                                                                Finally, the group proposes that language be
   The group proposes that a North American                  included in a NAFTA that commits the three countries
Commission on Trade and the Environment monitor              to provide sufficient funding to fully implement
and report on the enforcement of environmental               environmental laws throughout the continent. Funding
regulations and investigate and act on violations. The
commissioners would come from each of the three
                                                             sources could include user fees, corporate income
                                                             taxes and other direct and indirect taxes.        .
countries and include representatives of national and
local non-governmental environmental organizations.          Source: "Environmental Safeguards for the North American Free
All Commission members would be required to have             Trade Agreement," prepared by Arizona Toxics Information,
                                                             Border Ecology Project, Center jor International Environmental
demonstrated expertise on environmental matters and
                                                             Law - U.S., Community Nutrition Institute, Defenders of Wildlife,
would "not have a vested economic interest in trade
                                                             Environmental Defense Fund, Friends of the Earth, Institute for
and investment arising from this agreement.                  Agriculture and Trade Policy, National Audobon Society, Natural
                                                             Resources Defense Council, Public Citizen, Sierra Club and
   The Commission, as proposed in this paper, would          Texas Center for Policy Studies, June 1992.
receive complaints from governments, NGGs and

                                                         6
          CONGRESSMAN CHIDES NAFTA WITH NEW TRADE PROPOSAL
                                          by Lynden Peter, U.S./Mexico Trade Project
     Rep. James A. Traficant (D-OH) recently                          are worried that free-trade agreements will increase
introduced a new trade bill, H.R. 5005, to demonstrate                food imports from countries with virtually no farm
the unconstitutionality of the NAFf A. The "Ohio                      regulations or regulations that are not enforced. Those
Free Trade Agreement" would exempt any person                         American farm operators who practice environmentally
operating a trade or business in the State of Ohio from               sound farming techniques stand to be the big losers
all Federal laws and regulations on trade and business.               from free-trade agreements that promote the lowest
                                                                      common regulatory denominator. .
     In a letter to colleagues, Rep. Traficant warned of
problems with free trade. He wrote, "If Ohio were                                               "Dear
                                                                      Source:Rep.JamesTrafic.ant's           letter,1 May
                                                                                                    Colleague"
exempt from OSHA, EPA, IRS, Department of Labor,                      1992.
or Social Security laws and regulations, then Ohio
could be competitive with countries like Mexico,
China, the Philippines and other countries that have
little if any regulations to which the industrial sector
must comply...Environmental regulations are virtually
nonexistent in these countries. Workers earn barely
enough to survive and, more often than not, work
under occupationally hazardous conditions. Moreover,
how can we expect American companies to stay in the
u.S. or to open new plants in this country when we
make it so easy for them to leave the U.S. to set up
shop in countries with fewer, if any, regulations?"
    Like other business people, American farmers must
comply with stringent U.S. environmental regulations
in order to participate in government programs. Many




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  Fora copyof the report,co/1:tacttheWesie-indoverMts'
  Association at phone (303)623-9378,fax (303)534-7309.

                                                                  7
          THE NEGOTIATION OF THE FREE TRADE AGREEMENT:
                 AN UNFAVORABLE PATH FOR MEXICO
             A summary of a preliminary analysis from Mexico of the "DalUzsDraft"

 Editor's note: The following article is a translation of " Las          negotiated does not contain these elements and
 Negociaciones del TLC, un Rumbo Desfavorable para Mexico, "             consequently does not respond to the interests of the
from Altemativas, the newsletter of the Mexican Action Network           civil societies in the three countries. Therefore the
 on Free Trade (RMALC). We will continue to exchange articles
 with the RMALC for publication in future issues of our respective
                                                                         Network reiterates its rejection of the NAFTA that the
 newsletters.                                                            authorities are now negotiating.

    The document that RMALC has obtained and made                        General considerations about the document:
public is a draft of the official free-trade document.
The declarations of the Mexican authorities regarding                    * The document contains various degrees of detail.
the supposed lack of authenticity of the Dallas Draft                    There are parts that are completely bracketed and
lack any legitimacy, as is demonstrated by the                           other parts   -- fewer   in number   -- with a basic   text with
affirmations of Canadian and United States authorities                   few, but important, differences, which demonstrates
who have reiterated on many occasions that the Dallas                    the slowness of the negotiations.
Draft is the official document.
                                                                         * The text does not include the advances made in
    The RMALC, fulfilling its obligation to the                          areas of fundamental importance for Mexico such as
Mexican society, has made the official document                          energy, the automotive industry and unfair trade
available to the public. The level of detail of this                     practices. This makes us contemplate the existence 9f
document, however, is not the responsibility of the                      negotiations at different levels of confidentiality,
Network, but reflects the state of negotiations. It gives                which represents a major risk for the civil societies of
insights into what has been negotiated and permits us                    the three countries.
to identify the key points of the negotiations. It is the
responsibility of official negotiators not only to                       * Canada and the U.S. do not recognize the
provide information about the draft th~t is now in our                   asymmetries among the three countries, which
hands (and to explain the lack of honesty in official                    confirms doubts with respect to the supposed
declarations) but also to maintain open channels of                      impartiality of the negotiations.
information about possible changes produced by the
discussions.                                                             * The clause referred to as "national treatment" is
                                                                         present throughout the text and demonstrates the latent
    Once the document was known, the Network                             danger in the negotiations of offering great
reiterated its position with respect to the NAFTA                        opportunities to North American transnational
being negotiated by the governments of Mexico, the                       corporations to the detriment of Mexico's sovereignty
United States and Canada. First, the Network demands                     and right of self-determination.
that the Mexican society be informed periodically of
what the authorities are negotiating. The Dallas                         * The document does not include any kind of concrete
document not only reaffirms doubts regarding the                         and effective measure to guarantee that the civil
possible dangers of a secret negotiation of such scope,                  society is protected from the possible risks resulting
but it also opens new and profound concerns about                        from the implementation of a NAFTA (regarding
what is being negotiated. On the other hand, it is                       employment, social security, housing, the environment,
crucial to point out that the Network does not oppose                    etc.), which demonstrates that the Social Agenda has
the diversification of our country's trade relations, or                 been excluded from the NAFTA negotiations.
the signing of a development pact that contemplates
the expansion of trade, but that clearly recognizes the                  Specific considerations about the document:
asymmetries of the contracting countries and favors a
Social Agenda over the Corporate Agenda. It is                           The Network presents below the preliminary results of
evident that the NAFTA that is currently being                           its analysis of some of the points in the February draft.
                                                                     8
    1. Objectives and Scope:                                        6. Safeguards:
t
    - There is disagreement on the level of obligation              - These are only considered in cases of emergency
      required under a NAFTA. Therefore, the degree of                (due to increases in imports) for the protection of
      commitment among the three countries is not clear.              producers, disregarding the protection of the
    - The specific methods by which the the differences               environment and the consumer.
      among the three countries will be taken into account          - There is no agreement on the methods that would
      are not clear.                                                 yield any safeguarding measures     --not even   in those
    - The conditions for "national priority," which create           instances when there should be intervention.
      exceptions for some agreements within the NAFTA,
      are not specified.                                            7. Agriculture:
                                                                    - The implementation of clauses related to subsidies
    2. Investments:                                                   and permits would remove most basic grain
    - The chapter annuls Mexico's Foreign Investment                  producers from the market.
      Law.                                                          - Mexican production would be restricted to the
    - It limits the role of the state to one of administrator         production of tropical fruits and vegetables.
      and promoter of national investment.                          - The functions of the Secretary of Agriculture and
    - National benefits can not be demanded from foreign              Water Resources are put on the negotiating table.
      investments established in Mexico. Complete
      freedom is given for the exporting of profits and for         8. Telecommunications:
      making intra-firm purchases, etc.                             - There is an absence of mechanisms to assure access
                                                                to state-of-the-art technology in this sector, in
     3. Rules of Origin:                                         addition to the fact that there is no recognition of
     - There are disagreements here on the conceptual issue productive inequalities.
       (the definition of a rule of origin) and the - There is resistance to recognizing the limitations in
       quantitative issue (the Americans are attempting to      Mexico's constitution regarding granting access to
       increase the percentage of national content above        telecommunications only through government
       50%, while on the Mexican side they want to              concessions. .
       decrease it). There is no clarity on the specification
       of costs (labor and non-labor, Le., ecological), which Translated by Hugo Llamas, The Development GAP.
       does not guarantee the recognition of asymmetries
       and how to surmount them. This would favor the
      continuation of the comparative advantages that
      Mexico possesses today: low wages, deficient. PRI CLAIMS WIN (frompage 3)
      legislation on labor and the environment, etc.
                                                              opponents by a ratio of 50 to 1 in Michoacan, in part
    4. Market Access:                                         by sharply increasing spending by Solidarity. the
    - The absence of cited annexes is apparent (regarding government's anti-poverty program. The government
      groups of products and timing), which makes one also uses its power to monopolize television and other
      reflect on where these issues are being negotiated.     media coverage of the elections.
    - The Mexican position makes reforms in national
      legislation imminent due to the concessions on              The citizens' coalitions expect to complete their
      "national treatment."                                   final reports on the 12 July elections by 22 July.
                                                              Copies of the final report will be available from.
    5. Intellectual Property Rights:                          Cynthia Power at The Development GAP.
    - The negotiations undermine the right to develop
      policies on scientific and technological matters.       Sources: "No hay condiciones que garanticen el libre ejercicio
    - The negotiations represent a threat to the cultural     democratico," by Tereza Gurza, La Jornada. 14 July 1992;
      identity of our country.                                "Elecciones en el paIs de nunca jamds, " by Jose Ortiz Pinch£tti.
                                                              La Jornada. 15 July 1992; "Mexican Parry Loses One Vote,
    - There are no regulations that guarantee access to Faces FighJ in Second." by Tim Golden. Th£ New York Times. 15
      state-of-the-art    and ecologically       sustainable July 1992.
      technologies.

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